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Showing posts from March, 2024

The Valley of Death. Why most angel investments lose money.

I have been investing in start-up companies (businesses with little or no trading history) for around 20 years. Unfortunately, despite knowing a great deal about starting and selling businesses, at least half of the ones I pick eventually fail and lose me all the money I invested in them... although some of it might be recoverable as tax relief. So over the years, I've come to realise that the odds are heavily stacked against me backing a winner - typically defined as a sale of my shares, known as an exit , within 10 years, paying me at least 10 times the money I invested. To get the same result from guaranteed compound interest over 10 years, you would have to be paid a rate of about 25% - so get it right, and it's a big prize. I've managed it a couple of times, so overall have recovered most of what I've lost on the many companies who died, but it's a very high risk game. So why do so many angel investments in particular die, and why is it so hard for us to spot t